[Review] You – Xiumin (EXO)

Once again, we return to the topic of military enlistment. This time around, the male group in question is EXO and the member enlisting is Xiumin, the eldest member of the group. While Xiumin said his goodbyes to the members and fans yesterday, he bids farewell once again today through this week’s SM Station release. The song dropped a few hours ago and is titled You. A fortnight ago, Chanyeol releases his solo single SSFW (so if you haven’t heard it yet, click the title!). But we are here for Ximin, so let’s start the review!

Xiumin’s message in You is very simple. He expresses gratitude to everyone around him. And in order to sound meaningful, it is obvious that the ballad route would be chosen. The ballad ended up being typical in nature. That would be the best way to describe it. The instrumental was just plain but I think it did enough to really provide that blank canvas for Xiumin’s voice. We all know that Xiumin isn’t the most talented vocalist of EXO but I think he has an overshadowed voice. There have been songs by him in collaborations and units that do bring out the best of him. You does that as well. I really like his raspy vocals, which really made the song a tiny bit more interesting. I like how he manages to go along with the building instrumental and ended giving the song that needed climax. But I am not particularly drawn to the song melody wise nor do I find it memorable. But I am sure fans of the artist (and group) will.

A lot of the video seemed to be just a reflection for Xiumin. We see Xiumin staring off into the distance, taking in the sights and the fresh air. There isn’t really anything to talk about. The reflective nature matches the song’s message and tone. But other than that, I think I would be rambling on.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.8/10

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[Review] Young & Free – Xiumin (EXO) & Mark (NCT)

SM Station tracks have been continuously released on a weekly basis. However, I haven’t reviewed them for a while because I don’t really consider some of them as KPOP. If they feature a KPOP artist, such as this track, the likelihood of it being reviewed will increase vastly compared to tracks that feature indie artists (such as the releases of the past month). Young & Free is this week’s release, which features Xiumin from EXO and Mark from NCT.

Young & Free sounds okay. That is probably the best I can say about the song. It has a nice piano instrumental that remains consistent throughout. While I did describe it as nice, there wasn’t anything that made it interesting. And that left it feeling a little bland and dull in nature. Xiumin’s vocals are okay. I have heard songs where his vocals ended up shining a fair bit, such as in EXO-CBX’s Hey Mama. Here, it didn’t have that backing or support from another artist and that is why I thought it fell a little short. Mark’s rapping is probably the one thing that I did like from the track. Though, I have to admit that Mark’s rapping did feel a little disjointed from the instrumental. His raps do suit more refined or upbeat songs, such as his works in his respective NCT subunits. The song tried its best to remain catchy. But while I do acknowledge that some people would find it catchy and addictive, the hooks present in the song didn’t do much for me.

That paleness is back once again. Once again, it is not bothering but just another observation. Throughout the video, we see Mark and Xiumin hang out with each other and show off their budding friendship. So, there isn’t much else to say about that. Not sure about the ending. Does it mean that they have a very strong imagination? As if they were outside the whole time, but believed they were on stage? Overall, it was a nice video to watch and the song felt fitting for the video.

The video did also show a small section of the choreography. I thought it was nice and also fitting for the song. It’s something simple and easy-going for the song and I personally like that.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

Call You Bae – Jimin (AOA) ft. Xiumin (EXO)

Jimin from AOA has made her comeback with a brand new song as a solo artist. For those who don’t know, she made her solo debut last year with GOD, along side N.Flying’s J.Don. Now, for this comeback, she enlisted the help of EXO’s Xiumin. Such a surprising collaboration.

As I said the collaboration was unexpected. But the quality of the song and the collaboration itself  is pretty good. Not once was I disappointed with the song, the vocals, the rapping or the concept. I usually complain about Jimin’s rap, but she sounds fine in this song. It didn’t give me shivers or causes any headaches for me. Xiumin’s vocals (in this song) just shows to you how he deserve more lines in EXO. Someone commented somewhere (forgot where) that he got more lines in this song than his entire EXO career. Seems a little far fetched to me, but in reality, we might as well believe it. I do pray that was Jimin was singing (not exactly sure she can, but I assume she can sing) at the chorus when they both go high pitch (and not some stand in). The song made me smile. My only complaint is not really a complaint, but the lyrics seems a little childish in my opinion. Not immature, but the part where Jimin asks Xiumin whether he wants chicken (I assume this is KPOP’s version of Netflix and Chill) and how she raps about “Beep Bop” (alarm) in the second verse, kind of felt more like a child’s song than anything else. But those lyrics do fit very well with the song and make sense, so I am not going to make any deal of it. Oh another reason why I like the song, because I can relate to it. Not going to say much, but currently, I am in Xiumin’s position everytime I see a particular someone.

As for the music video, it matched the song really well. Don’t really have much to say about the video. It is bright, cheerful, happy. What more do you want? That chicken and alarm all played a part in the video. The emojis’ were cool, but I don’t know. Angry face when they were together doesn’t seem like that guy wanted them two together. And Jimin’s wall (or window) just conveniently became some sort of stage for Xiumin to sing on and jump into the frame. Also, I have yet to read any articles or comments that curses the daylight out of Jimin. But I am not going to say anything beside that, because that is obviously a good thing. Let’s leave it there. If you are confused, I’ll explain another day. But great video, which made sense with the song.

I think I have given it a near-prefect review. Disappointed that there are no live performances for this song, because I would love to see it. And is doesn’t matter if Xiumin is unavailable. Other artists can fill in. 10/10